'Tis the season of cookie baking! So we asked our executive pastry chef, Andrew Ullom, to share his recipe for the holiday favorite, gingerbread cookies. He kindly obliged, and now we all get to reap the benefits!
Gingerbread Cookies with Royal Icing
Yield: 4 dozen cookies
For the cookies:
5½ cups all-purpose flour
1¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¾ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
1¼ cups brown sugar, packed
1 cup sorghum (or molasses)
2 large eggs
For the royal icing:
2 large egg whites
2 pounds powdered sugar
1/3 cup whole milk
Make the cookies: In a large bowl, sift the flour, salt, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon.
In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar until nice and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each addition. Add the sorghum and mix thoroughly for another minute. Add the dry ingredients in thirds, beating between each addition to fully combine.
Turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface and use a rolling pin to roll it out to a 1-inch-thick disc. Wrap well in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 350°. When the oven is ready, roll the dough between two pieces of parchment paper until it’s ¼-inch thick and cut out into desired shapes (for an extra crispy cookie, roll to 1/8-inch thickness). Transfer to cookie sheets lined with silicone baking mats or parchment paper and bake for 12 to 14 minutes until just brown around the edges, but still soft in the middle. Let cool fully before decorating. The cookies will harden as they cool.
Make the icing: In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites, sugar and milk to combine. The mixture should thicken, but still able to be piped. If you'd like a thinner consistency to pipe and cover the cookies with icing, add a touch more milk until it's a bit runny. The icing will harden as it sits. Transfer the icing to a pastry bag fitted with the tip of your choice and decorate your cookies to your preference.